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Flu Season

Flu (or influenza) typically causes fever, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, cough, body aches, fatigue, and potentially diarrhea and vomiting with symptoms lasting about seven days. There are some easy steps that students and staff can take to avoid getting, or spreading, the flu.

How do I avoid getting the flu?
  • The very best way to protect oneself from the flu is to get vaccinated (the flu shot takes about two weeks to become effective). Many students have already chosen to be vaccinated, but if you have yet to do so, local vaccination resources include:
    • The Student Health Center (434) 982-3915
      Monday-Friday 8am-5pm
      Book an appointment via HealthyHoos
    • Thomas Jefferson Health District (434) 972-6200
      1138 Rose Hill Drive, Charlottesville.
    • Private Providers in the greater Charlottesville area ā€“ call ahead
    • Retail outlets such as Kroger, CVS, Target, etc. ā€“ call ahead

    Flu shots at the Student Health Center cost $28. Contact the provider of your choice to inquire about their fee.

  • Encourage friends/roommates to get vaccinated ā€“ if they get sick, your chance of getting sick increases.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if necessary.
  • Avoid those who are sick, if possible. Stay at least six feet away from someone who is coughing.
  • If caring for a sick roommate, loved one, or friend, wear a plain surgical mask (from Student Health or a pharmacy). The ill person should also wear a mask when others are present. Frequently wash hands and disinfect commonly touched surfaces.
What if Iā€™m experiencing flu-like symptoms?
  • If you become sick with symptoms of the flu, stay home. Do not attend class or participate in social activities until at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) except to get medical care, as needed.
  • Most people with the flu will recover without medication or medical care within several days. Rest, fluids, and some over-the-counter medications can help during recovery (Flu Self-Care brochure). Antiviral medication can be helpful if started within the first 48 hours of symptoms. Please note that antiviral medication is expensive, even with insurance, and shortages are possible.
  • Please note that Student Health does not provide class excuse notes for the flu. Faculty members should not be requesting medical excuses for missed classes during flu season. It is your responsibility to communicate clearly with professors when ill. It is better for you to remain and recover in your own residence if you do not have more serious symptoms.
  • Call the Student Health Center at (434) 982-3915 or your local care provider if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
    • Sudden dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Severe or persistent vomiting
    • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Certain individuals are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications ( People at High Risk for Developing Flu-Related Complications). If you are in a high-risk group and develop flu symptoms, please call Student Health for an appointment, informing staff who takes your call about your high-risk status for flu.
  • To prevent infecting others, cough into your sleeve, rather than your hands. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if necessary.

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